High-Risk Accommodation Response group

We delivered multiple activities relating to the 2020-21 High Risk Accommodation Response (HRAR) program – a program that provided outreach support to people living in settings where transmission of and vulnerability to COVID-19 were considered to be relatively high. This included public high- and medium-rise social housing, rooming houses, supported residential services, and caravan parks. Project deliverables included:

  • a program evaluation report
  • a supported community of practice
  • a proposed model of care for the continuation a ‘business as usual’ version of the program post-pandemic into 2022 and beyond.

The HRAR program aimed to prevent, prepare for, and respond early to coronavirus (COVID-19) infection within public housing and other high-risk accommodation settings with shared facilities.

The service model worked to ensure appropriate public health measures to protect the health and wellbeing of residents, as well as adequate, culturally appropriate and accessible service supports (including health and social services, food and essential supplies) and community engagement strategies, were in place.


Who was involved?

25 community health services were HRAR Lead Providers, delivering place-based outreach health and social care to people living in settings associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. These settings included (but were not limited to) publicly and privately owned high-rise accommodation, rooming houses, backpacker hostels, supported residential services, student accommodation and caravan parks. All typically have facilities shared by residents.

HRAR Lead Providers:

  • identified and risk-rate facilities
  • provided COVID-19 prevention and preparedness advice and resources to residents and proprietors
  • laid the foundations for any future required outbreak response.



The Victorian Budget 2021-22 extended funding to Lead Providers for the HRAR program until the end of December 2021. Similarly, the VHA received an extension of its funding to enable continuation of the Community of Practice meetings and supports it offers to Lead Providers.


Program update

Community health services were advised in May 2022 that the program funding would not be extended beyond 30 June 2022.

The VHA is pushing to have cancellation of the program reversed, as well as looking for other opportunities to build on the community health sector’s proven track record in primary health. We will provide updates as this work progresses.


Read more:

1 July 2022: New Community Connectors program builds on the success of HRAR

10 May 2022: Funding to support vulnerable Victorians cut, despite program success

6 June 2022: The Victorian Government must keep protecting our most vulnerable

30 March 2022: Evaluation report: High Risk Accommodation Response Program 2020-21

15 March 2022: Proposed model to embed the HRAR program

28 September 2021: VHA welcomes boosted funding for HRAR Leads

23 June 2021: Community health services continue to make an impact through HRAR



For more information, contact us: 03 9094 7777 or email vha@vha.org.au